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Old 02-20-2012, 06:44 PM   #43
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Hi John:
I understand the reason behind your question but I would suggest that the answer to the question ( How long can I go before I have to buy a braking system?) is dependant upon what you are towing and with what are you towing it. If I was driving a diesel pusher, towing a Ford Fiesta in the flatlands of mid America or in the east I would not buy one right away and see how the rig handles. But I was towing a 3800 lbs vehicle behind a Ford Gasser and was very thankful I had the brake system when going down the mountains out west.
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Old 02-21-2012, 12:38 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisZ View Post
Most states actually don't require brakes on a toad even if they require them on trailers. If your coach combined gross vehicle weight is within range with the weight of the toad, you will be OK in most states, that said however, the real issue comes if you have an accident and the lawyers become involved with accident fault and liability. Personally, I think toad brakes are cheap insurance. Just my thoughts, YMMV.

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For many years the web sites that list towing laws all said Michigan did not requrie brakes on a towed car but did on a trailer.

Finally.. Some of them have done what I did and looked up the defination of "Trailer".

Michigan has no law saying "a car being towed needs aux braking systemS"

Michigan has a law saying "Trailers over xxxx pounds must have brakes"

(NOTE: I do not off hand knwo what xxxx is but have copy of law on HD)

Michigan also has a law which defines a trailer as Any vehicle WITH OR WITHOUT MOTIVE POWER towed in such a manner so as the weight of the vehicle does NOT rest on the towing vehicle.

In short.. a car towed 4-down **IS A TRAILER**

Most of the 'not required" states.. Have similar language in their vehicle codes.

That is the bad news: The good news is mail man just delivered the remaining needed parts to my Sealand Toilet, It now works like new (took all of 5 minutes to finish the repair, New seals)
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #45
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We have just switched from an Even-Brake to a Invisibrake system, has anyone used the Invisibrake? Got tired of installing and removing the Even Brake everytime we moved. Now none of that hassel. Just wondering if any good or bad comments on the Invisibrake system.

Thanks,
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Old 02-23-2012, 07:35 PM   #46
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As usual when ever the subject comes up of brake requirements for supplementary brakes on vehicles with all four wheels on the ground there are a lot of posts that are totally blatantly WRONG!

In all 50 states a towed motor vehicle is NOT a trailer. The rules for towed motor vehicles are different and do NOT include a requirement that they be equipped with tow brakes.


The source of most of the misleading information comes from-you guessed it-the internet. (This post sure adds to the misleading information)

The only place I am fairly sure that has a tow brake rule is the Province of British Columbia Canada. (It appears that you did not look very hard)There they require tow brakes on a motor vehicle being towed four down IF it weights 2000KG or 4400 pounds or more.

Don't let anyone try to sell you the idea that the rules for trailers and towed motor vehicles are the same. (They are for some States - see reply 44 above).
Also see North Carolina Towing law: Every semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle attached by a drawbar or coupling to a towing vehicle of at least 4,000 lbs, and every house trailer weighing at least 1,000 lbs, shall be equipped with brake controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle.

GS_20-124

There may be others?


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Old 02-23-2012, 07:54 PM   #47
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If you pull it, it is a trailer. If you put the "59" on wheels and haul it behind your motorhome it then becomes a trailer. Albeit one that you probably couldn't move but, still a trailer.

Too many people don't understand the simple laws of inertia.
Not in some states, if it not originally built to be a towed and has an engine it changes the rules. WA is one such state.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:05 PM   #48
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It would be interesting to see if there's any case law on this. My interpretation of most of those statutes that "exempt" vehicles with an engine is to make it legal for a tow truck to pull a vehicle without installing a supplemental brake system. I'm not sure that trying to use that code to exempt a vehicle rigged for regular toad use (baseplate, lights, etc) would actually work in a courtroom.

I'm not a lawyer, and as far as I can tell, no one else posting in this thread is either. Personally, I wouldn't install a brake system (or NOT install one) based on anything anyone says in an internet forum. Do the risk assessment yourself, and consult your own legal advisor if needed. Just remember, you have to comply with the law in whatever state (or province) you're in. Being legal in your home state doesn't do you any good.

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Old 02-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #49
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Give Yourself a Break and Get Brakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stott View Post
Just wondering. - I know what the dealers say but do you really need additional breaking system for a car or jeep toad? I have been reading lots of stories of people who dont use them or have had problems with various systems and others who say they wouldnt leave home without their brake buddy.

John, all the talk of laws and tickets is background noise to me. My first 3,000 miles were pulling a borrowed dolly without brakes, I obediently queried the police in each jurisdiction. To what end? That just meant, were I in a mishap, I'd not get a ticket. But, what of my liability? It felt so uncomfortable, I broke down and got a new dolly with electric brakes.

My friend just rear-ended a car, crushing it and another. Thank goodness the injuries were minor. He did not have a brake system on his toad and the cops issued no citation. But, he is now understandably concerned about the liability.

Food for thought
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:47 PM   #50
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I just hope that those folks with no aux brakes post their routes and destination.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:56 PM   #51
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My experience has been that gasser owners are less likely to have toad brakes. I have (4) friends with 32-35' ford chassis with no (0) toad brakes. They have driven many thousands of miles in California to Alaska with no problems. I have SMI brake system in my wrangler. I also have a w22 workhorse chassis.




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Old 02-24-2012, 12:56 PM   #52
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...They have driven many thousands of miles in California to Alaska with no problems...
Which does not make doing it right (or wrong) or safer (or not)......
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Old 02-24-2012, 01:33 PM   #53
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Something that would go a long way to reduce these discussions would be for someone to post a "First Person-it happened to ME" instance of them being cited for not having tow brakes on their toad and the courts upholding the citation.

With all the posts declaring it is illegal to tow a motor vehicle four down without tow brakes and there are thousands doing it every day there surely must be a lot of them. All I would like to read is one verifiable instance.

I am a staunch believer in tow brakes but would like to see just one verifiable post.

Jim
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:33 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by jauguston View Post
Something that would go a long way to reduce these discussions would be for someone to post a "First Person-it happened to ME" instance of them being cited for not having tow brakes on their toad and the courts upholding the citation.

With all the posts declaring it is illegal to tow a motor vehicle four down without tow brakes and there are thousands doing it every day there surely must be a lot of them. All I would like to read is one verifiable instance.

I am a staunch believer in tow brakes but would like to see just one verifiable post.

Jim
This thread fascinates me. Common sense says that most states require brakes on a toad, just like a trailer. For example, in NYS, a trailer must have brakes over 1000 lbs gvw. But interestingly, I could not find any statements on the NYS DMV site regarding toad brake requirements.

So being the inquisitive person I am, I sent an email to the DMV to ask for a definition of cars being towed behind motorhomes and the requirements for braking systems on the towed cars.

I got back a lot of references for 'child seats in cars', 'Leandra's Law', and 'Cell Phone Usage while driving'. No interpretation to my question whatsoever.

So at this typing I cannot categorically state that NYS treats a toad behind a motorhome the same it treats a trailer, with respect to braking systems -- amazing!

HOWEVER -- I would NEVER want to be the case in court which tests the system on this one. I believe all toads need braking systems, as it's well proven that stopping distance is significantly reduced with toad brakes.

For me, and everyone I advise, I recommend toad brakes. If not from the letter of the law, from a common sense physics standpoint.

I have the SMI AFO system installed on my toad, and love how it operates. I would not drive without toad brakes.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #55
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A thought and a memory come to me.

First the memory. (Well 2 of 'em) I had the pin come out of the hitch receiver back in Utah once.. Safety cables held. no danger.

I also had a gentelman (Family) pull up beside me and holler "The back tire on your bicycle is on fire" I kind of thought "What the {terms deleted}.

Turns out both of the brackets that hold the hitch assembly to the frame rails had broken, dropping the hitch receiver AND THE ATTACHMENT POINTS FOR THE SAFETY CABLES on the ground.. Now as it happens the brake control line did not break, so when I stopped the motor home, the car, just naturally stopped with me No damage.

Imagine if that car had gone off on it's own.

Now, the thought that came to me is a line I say about a stalled car.

A car that will not GO.. Normally (There are exceptions) is safe.

A car that won't STOP.. Is deadly.

Had the car run over the hitch assembly one of two things would have happened.

Either it would have brought the car to a somewhat impresive stop, or the break away cable would have broke away.. and brought the car to a much less but still impressive stop.
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:21 PM   #56
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I am always baffled why people need a "law" (or the thought one might exist) to simply do what is SAFE. Take some personal responsibility, do the SAFE thing, law or no law.
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